McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University


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  • students working in lab
  • Image of McCormick students working in Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center
  • students working in lab
  • Image of a McCormick professor in front of his class
  • Student and professor in lab
  • Image of McCormick Senior Associate Dean Rich Lueptow teaching a course in Mechanical Engineering
  • Image of a McCormick student in a lab

Biomedical Engineering

The Department of Biomedical Engineering at McCormick is consistently ranked among the top biomedical engineering programs in the country. With cutting-edge research in neural engineering, cardiovascular and pulmonary engineering, materials and tissues, and imaging and biophotonics, the department attracts top faculty and graduate students alike. Students in the program study engineering, life sciences, and mathematics while participating in revolutionary research.

The biomedical engineering community at Northwestern University is centered in the biomedical engineering department and includes faculty appointed in 12 departments (at last count) within engineering, medicine, arts and sciences, and communication. The breadth of faculty members’ research interests affords students a wide variety of research opportunities. Research takes place on the main campus in Evanston and on the medical school campus in downtown Chicago.

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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is nationally recognized for its leadership in modern engineering research and education. The department’s goal is to provide students with tools, experience, and adaptability to prosper not just as new graduates but throughout their careers.

The department is built around core faculty members, but additional faculty members have major appointments in other departments, including materials science and engineering, biomedical engineering and civil engineering, reflecting Northwestern’s leadership in the increasingly interdisciplinary fields of engineering research. Such cross-fertilization of disciplines extends from the faculty to the research groups, many of which include graduate students from other departments. This approach assists in providing breadth as well as depth to students’ graduate experience and helps to prepare them for the interactive research and problem solving in industry, government laboratories, and universities.

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Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Northwestern is a premier research and academic department ranked among the top CEE departments in the nation. Its experienced faculty members perform cross-disciplinary research while preparing students to become the next generation of leaders in research, academic, corporate, and public service settings.

Civil and environmental engineers are masters of the infrastructure and stewards of the environment and, as such, play ever-increasing and visible roles in shaping our future and the world we live in. They deal not only with the technical and scientific aspects of their work but also with its societal and economic impact. They seek creative solutions to complex issues facing the world today: engineering sustainable cities; designing, building, and renewing the world’s infrastructure; meeting growing energy and water demands; and preserving and protecting the environment.

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Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has an internationally renowned faculty, state-of-the-art research equipment, and the considerable resources offered by a great university. Research areas span the spectrum from photonics to graphics and interactive media to signals and systems, and the department is home to several interdisciplinary centers that lie at the core of 21st century product design and knowledge discovery.

Many of the department’s award-winning faculty members have cross-disciplinary appointments in fields like music and social policy, and, as shown by both the graduate and undergraduate programs’ high rankings, faculty members have an outstanding commitment to students.

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Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

The Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics takes science and engineering problems and solves them using mathematical models. When confronted with an engineering or scientific problem, applied mathematicians either formulate a mathematical model of that problem or determine how to modify a suitable existing model. They then solve the equations of the model and analyze the solution to compare with experimental or observational data.

Award-winning faculty members at McCormick are involved in research that uses a variety of mathematical methods to investigate problems in biomechanics, biofilms, combustion theory, diffusion processes, financial mathematics, fluid mechanics, geophysics, interfacial phenomena, materials science, molecular biology, neuroscience, solid mechanics, statistical mechanics, transport theory, and wave phenomena. In addition to receiving teaching awards, faculty members perform cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary research and have numerous appointments in other departments.

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Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences

The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences at McCormick is concerned with the design, analysis, and implementation of production or service systems with the goal of improving quality and productivity. The department’s progressive interdisciplinary research involves simulation and engineering statistics, the invention of new methodologies for optimization, and the rigorous solution of difficult problems in production, logistics, financial engineering, healthcare, and organizational systems analysis.

Department faculty members are world-renowned in their areas of research and have been honored with awards and fellowships from leading professional societies such as INFORMS, IIE, and ASA. Many hold appointments on the editorial boards of the flagship journals in their fields, and their research is supported by grants from the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, National Security Agency, National Institutes of Health, Office of Naval Research, and many industrial sponsors.

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Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is recognized throughout the materials community for its educational and research accomplishments. Since it was established as the first materials science academic department in the world more than 50 years ago, the department has continued to lead the field. Faculty members are renowned for their research excellence and have been honored around the world for pioneering work. Department alumni are likewise leaders in academia, industry, professional organizations and entrepreneurial efforts.

Strong interdisciplinary research is a hallmark of MSE at Northwestern. Collaborations include most other Northwestern engineering and science departments, the Feinberg School of Medicine and national laboratories, especially nearby Argonne National Laboratory, which includes the Advanced Photon Source and the Center for Nanoscale Materials. Northwestern is home to an exceptional number of materials-related interdisciplinary centers; of 26 University Centers, materials science and engineering faculty members direct or participate in 11. Half the MSE faculty participates in Energy Frontier Research Centers funded by DOE in 2009; two EFRCs are located at Northwestern and another two are centered at nearby Argonne National Laboratory. These interdisciplinary efforts comprise one of the broadest MSE programs in the nation and provide students with ample opportunities to work on cross-disciplinary research.

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Mechanical Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is a leader in fundamental and applied research in cross-cutting technologies. Mechanical engineering of the future is about nanomaterials, advanced sensing, adaptive and responsive systems, rapid prototyping, molecular rotors, and biomechanical interfaces — in short, it is the design of energy-efficient systems that integrate traditional mechanical engineering knowledge with other disciplines to invent the engineering masterpieces of the 21st century.

The department offers premier programs of undergraduate and graduate studies that provide a solid foundation for careers in industry, start-ups, research, and academia in an atmosphere that has all of the advantages of a large university — world-renowned professors doing state-of-the-art research — yet with small class sizes and personal attention from faculty.

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